I have again altered the way I behave around Scout. She is a strong, independent mare who is happy to please if asked in a no nonsense, polite way. She is not to keen on touch and I finally realised that I am constantly invading this boundary by wanting to pat her. I thought alot about this the other afternoon when my lovely border collie, Storm was pushing my hand and being very insistent in asking me to pat her. I have had Storm in my life for over 10 years now and I adore her however she often invades my personal space begging for constant attention. It does get quite irritating to me as I have a strong need for respect of my personal space. It finally occurred to me that this is how Scout feels and this is why she tends to walk up to me, sniff my hand and quickly walk away before I play out my unconsious response to want to touch her. So I have been tuning in to her much more and feeling her energetic boundary when I enter the paddock. I will sit down at the point that I feel her boundary extends to and she will happily stay near me and have a nap. I had an arabian mare who was much the same in this way. I quickly learnt not to touch her unless invited and she was undoubtedly one of the greatest horses I ever owned. She would look out for me when I was riding her and when I was working other horses. She would always appear to supervise a training session I was doing with Sienna and on one occassion when Sienna took fright and I jumped off her, my arab mare quietly blocked her exit and sent her back to me. I feel that Scout will be one of these types of horses.
Scout and I took our first short stroll off the property the other day. She was alert and very soft and responsive the whole time. I only took her a short way up the road and stood with her so she could eat grass and get more relaxed about it all. The other horses were going absolutely crazy with her not being in the paddock. Scout called to them a few times but willingly walked beside me on a slack lead. A couple of cars passed and she did not flinch. After returning to the paddock, I let her go and after letting Lacey have a drink she left the other mares and followed me up to the house. I took that as a good sign.
I haltered her again the next day and took her out. I let her eat grass in the gateway whilst I took Lacey for a short look around outside. Despite only being haltered and led twice, she is very soft and easy to lead. She comes off the pressure instantly and walks with the rope slack. She didn't know which way she wanted to go first. She was alert and very excited, although somewhat nervous about the new surroundings. After she had been out for 10 minutes, I put her back in the paddock and she banged on the gate and pawed the ground asking to come back out. I didn't want to have to manage the 2 of them walking so I left Lacey there with the other mares and took Scout further away up the road out of sight of the property. The other mares galloped around calling Scout. Scout raised her head a few times however she did not call back as she had the day before. I let her eat some more and then we walked a little further. She was really enjoying the change in scenery.
Watching her over the past few months has taught me a lot about her personality. She is by no means a doting mother and has given up all baby sitting responsibilities to Kiowa my stockhorse mare who very willingly accepted the job. Kiowa seems to adore Lacey and is gentle and calm with her. Scout tends to go off alone a lot or stay with Sienna. She will find Lacey when her udder is getting full and prompt her to drink. Lacey will also seek her out to feed and then go back to Kiowa or take off on her own. They are both incredibly independent and I wonder if this is common with the Spanish Mustangs...
I also have started setting up a paddock paradise in the front paddock. It seems to be working fairly well so far and the girls have certainly been moving more than usual. I spread their morning and afternoon hay right around the track. I intend to setup all the paddocks to adjoin this track once this oppressive heat subsides a little and I can get out and do some more work.
Poor Lacey has really been feeling this heat. She has been a bit grumpy the past couple of days and I suspect it is due to her suffering with that thick coat of hers and the high, humid temperatures we are experiencing at the moment. As you can see she is starting to shed out however not as quick as I suspect she would appreciate. She is a slightly more golden colour than Scout. She has kept the white shading around her muzzle and flanks also. This afternoon I decided to start pulling the hair from her legs (she does actually like this) and I was pleased to find some lovely dun striping on her front legs. She does not have it on her hind and they seem to be shedding out a very light colour. The barring on her front legs is a slate grey. She really is going to be a stunning little filly in her summer coat. Her nose has healed up nicely and the only indication of the accident is she has grown slightly lighter hair in the impact area. The people in the USA were not wrong when they commented on the extraordinary healing ability this breed has!